Open Content and Open Educational Resources: Enabling universal education

  • Tom Caswell The Center for Open and Sustainable Learning at Utah State University
  • Shelley Henson The Center for Open and Sustainable Learning at Utah State University
  • Marion Jensen The Center for Open and Sustainable Learning at Utah State University
  • David Wiley The Center for Open and Sustainable Learning at Utah State University
Keywords: OpenCourseWare, distance education, access, new technologies

Abstract

The role of distance education is shifting. Traditionally distance education was limited in the number of people served because of production, reproduction, and distribution costs. Today, while it still costs the university time and money to produce a course, technology has made it such that reproduction costs are almost non-existent. This shift has significant implications, and allows distance educators to play an important role in the fulfillment of the promise of the right to universal education. At little or no cost, universities can make their content available to millions. This content has the potential to substantially improve the quality of life of learners around the world. New distance education technologies, such as OpenCourseWares, act as enablers to achieving the universal right to education. These technologies, and the associated changes in the cost of providing access to education, change distance education's role from one of classroom alternative to one of social transformer.

Author Biographies

Tom Caswell, The Center for Open and Sustainable Learning at Utah State University
Tom Caswell is a PhD student in the Instructional Technology Department at Utah State University.
Shelley Henson, The Center for Open and Sustainable Learning at Utah State University
Shelley Henson is a PhD student in the Instructional Technology Department at Utah State University.
Marion Jensen, The Center for Open and Sustainable Learning at Utah State University
Marion Jensen is a PhD student in the Instructional Technology Department at Utah State University.
David Wiley, The Center for Open and Sustainable Learning at Utah State University
Dr. Wiley is Professor of Instructional Technology and Director of the Center for Open and Sustainable Learning at Utah State University.
Published
2008-02-26
How to Cite
Caswell, T., Henson, S., Jensen, M., & Wiley, D. (2008). Open Content and Open Educational Resources: Enabling universal education. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 9(1). https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v9i1.469